Inside: 5 tips for how much to tip your piercer if you’re new to the piercing scene.

Tip culture is getting crazy these days, I swear even grocery stores are asking for tips! But if you ever interact with anyone in the service industry of any kind, you know that it is well needed and well deserved for many. 

We know that when you dine in a restaurant, it’s a standard to tip your server 20% of the bill. But what about your hair stylists? Tattoo artists? Piercers? It’s pretty mandatory to tip them as well as pay the service fees, as a lot of the fees you pay are going to the business itself, paying for the product used on your hair or the supplies needed to give you some new ink. 

The $85 haircut doesn’t mean that your hairstylist is getting paid $85… Unfortunately.

Just like the food industry, if you’re receiving a service, tipping kindly will always be appreciated. 

5 tips for how much to tip your piercer

Does the expected tip rate differ from industry to industry? Or is it all about the same? Here are some tips to figuring out what you should be tipping your piercer! 

Tip Your Piercer Based On Price

As with most service industry standards, the best practice is to tip anywhere from 15% to 20% of the price of the service AND the jewelry. Just take the total of what you owe the shop. We’ll talk about the different reasons why this rate would vary, but if you’re neutral on the experience, want to tip them and head out, the easiest and most polite is to calculate your 15 % to 20% off the total and leave that as their tip. 

A general rule of thumb is if you’re kind of in between this range, 18% has never hurt anyone and is super fair to give to a piercer, especially if it was a decent experience and a simple procedure. If you’re looking at more difficult piercings, it’s likely that the price is going to be higher so the tip will naturally be higher as well. So if you’re basing your tip solely on price of the service, you’re covered by the higher fees for more difficult services. 

Base It On Experience 

Were you nervous? Were they kind and helped you calm down and encouraged you to get the piercing you’ve been dying to get and just haven’t built up the courage? They deserve a tip for that. 

Did you come in with your friends after a fun dinner and decide you want to keep the fun going and your piercer totally felt the vibe and made the shop an after party? They deserve a tip for that.

Piercers deal with so much and cater to our needs all day, and if they did it well, you can spare a few extra bucks to make their night too! If they didn’t, then don’t! If you’re tipping based on experience, then tip how much you feel like the interaction was worth. Your piercer can make or break the experience, and that can totally be a factor to how much you tip them! It’s a fun thing to go out and get a piercing, and if they don’t make it a fun experience for you, (as in they actively make it a bad experience) then your tip can totally reflect that. 

Tip Based On Connection

Sometimes, just a few minutes in a tattoo and piercing chair can connect you with your artist so quickly! When this happens, I love to show them how much I enjoyed meeting them by tipping them really well. 

Tipping based on connection makes the piercer feel good about the interaction, especially if they’ve been dealing with not so awesome people all day. To have that one nice person in your chair and then to have them leave a tip too? Priceless. 

If you decide to make this piercing shop and this particular piercer your new go-to, it would probably be a good idea to tip well so that they always want to take you and accommodate you for whatever you want or need. It’s fun to work with a client that you know appreciates you, especially when they appreciate you formally as well. 

If there wasn’t a connection but you enjoyed your time with them, no pressure to throw a huge tip their way (unless you want to), but a fair tip is always kind at the end of the day too. 

Tipping based on connection can be the easiest format to follow, but you don’t ever want to leave without leaving a tip if there isn’t a major connection either. 

Tip Your Piercer Based On Assistance

We go to professionals for a reason. Not just because they know how to follow the procedures correctly to perform this service, but we require their professional expertise when it comes to the little things too like placements and jewelry options. It helps when we’re making those decisions to be able to reference someone who really knows what they’re doing and have seen it a hundred times to tell you their opinion! 

If you came into an appointment needing quite a bit of help, and they really helped guide you to the best answer for you, then they deserve a pretty good tip. 

The difference between good and great piercers is their ability to use their experience to help people find the best piercing for them. Maybe you went in not even knowing what you wanted at all and you walked out with something you totally love! That’s a great piercer. 

Don’t neglect all of the ways they’ve helped you throughout your appointment, if you left happy because of them, hit them with the full 20% at least. 

Base Your Piercing Tip On Time Used

Sometimes when signing the tab at restaurants, if I’ve been sitting for a while, taking a table that could have been sat again producing another tip, I try to leave a bigger gratuity to make up for a bit of their time I took up.

I would consider the same for the piercers’ time I take, especially if it’s a busy night and some of the other clients coming in could have been their next, if I’m taking a long time to get all my emo piercings in.

This can kind of play off of tipping based on their assistance, because if I walk in on a busy night and they spend extra time with me helping figure out what I want to get, then I want to pay them for the time that they could have been with others as well. 

If you’re keeping your time within a generally normal time slot, then this is no problem but this is just another factor I keep in mind when thinking how much to tip my piercer after a session! 

Tattoo artists are just that– artists, so it’s easy to see why tipping larger for a tattoo is more common than for a piercing when it feels like they just stick a needle in your ear, eyebrow, lip, nose, nipple… wherever! And call it a day. It couldn’t be less accurate, as they create such an experience for us when we come in, they deserve to be tipped well if they do it well! 

Hopefully these tips showed you exactly why and how you should be tipping those who give you good service and a good experience. It’s a “thank you” to them, rather than a price that you owe them. If you enjoyed your time with them, trust them, and would potentially go back to them again, give them a good tip so they’re happy to have you back in their chair! 

A happy piercer is a good piercer!